Expressive E pushes the limits of keyboard expression with Osmose
There's a new expressive keyboard synth in town, the result of a collaboration between France's Expressive E and Haken Audio out of Illinois. The stylish Osmose offers expression over three dimensions for every note on the raised keyboard.
The result of more than 7 years research and development, the instrument essentially brings gestural expression to every key of the keyboard courtesy of a mechanism that Expressive E is calling Augmented Keyboard Action. Osmose comes loaded with a large library of editable sounds designed to take advantage of the three-dimensional sensitivity of each key, allowing the player to create layered dynamics, vibrato, legato, strummed notes and more.
Expressive E's technology has been partnered with Haken Audio’s EaganMatrix sound engine, which brings physical modeling, additive and subtractive, FM, virtual analog, granular and spectral synthesis to the table. This sound engine can be found already in use in Haken's Continuum and ContinuuMini instruments.
Up top are 49 full-sized keys, with pitch and modulation controls and various knobs, buttons and encoders on the left side panel to tweak a sound's timbre, texture, harmonics and effects. The Osmose is capable of up to 24-voice polyphony, and has two continuous pedal inputs that can be assigned to sustain or synth parameters.
There's MIDI in and out, and MIDI over USB, with 24-bit digital-to-analog conversion for audio output. It can serve as a MIDI controller for music production software running on computers and hardware, or can function as a standalone MIDI controller.
The Osmose is up for pre-order now for a deposit of US$299. If you reserve one before December 31, you'll pay a total of $1,079. Orders placed from the beginning of next year will carry a final price of $1,799. The video below downs Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess messing about with the prototype.
Source: Expressive E